What is Buoy’s Law?

Under Senate Bill S1289B (known as Buoy’s Law), New York State veterinarians will soon be required to provide consultation to pet owners (or a designated agent) every time a pet medication is initially provided or prescribed in an outpatient setting. Similar to Lizzie’s Law now requiring California veterinarians to provide the same, Buoy’s Law has been voted through the New York State Senate and was signed into law in December 2022 by Governor Kathy Hochul.

what is buoy's law

Here’s What “Consultation” Means

As part of minimum requirements under Buoy’s Law, New York State veterinarians will be required to provide to pet owners (either in person or through electronic means):

  • The name and description of each drug
  • Directions for use
  • Instructions for missed dose or overdose situations
  • Storage instructions
  • Details on common side effects and other relevant warnings

How Buoy’s Law Came About

Buoy’s Law derives its name from a three-year-old Labrador Retriever named Buoy, who died from kidney failure in 2013 after being prescribed a painkiller following routine knee surgery. Buoy’s heartbroken owners, Mary Kate and Jimmy Tischler, said they hadn’t been told that the painkiller could be lethal and there hadn’t been a warning label on the bottle.

To help ensure no other pet would have to suffer like Buoy, the Tischlers led a charge to raise awareness about the lack of required pet medication warnings and change the law. Senator John Brooks later took up the cause and stayed behind Buoy’s Law through several State Assembly defeats until the New York State Senate passed the bill in February 2021 (this died in the assembly in January 2022 and passed in Senate again May 2022).

While veterinarians and veterinary medical organizations understand the protective nature of Buoy’s Law, the New York State Veterinary Medical Association expressed concern that gathering and supplying requisite consultation information to pet owners would create big costs for practices, including the cost of time when veterinary practices are short-staffed, stressed, and busier than ever. Added to this, veterinary teams will spend more time updating patient records if a consultation is provided or declined.

how ClientEd helps practices stay compliant with Buoy's Law

How ClientEd Helps Solve the Challenges Posed by Buoy’s Law

California veterinarians faced the same concerns and challenges posed by Lizzie’s Law. To solve the issue of meeting pet medication compliance while saving time, veterinarians turned to ClientEd, the one-of-a-kind client education resource by LifeLearn Animal Health, and New York State veterinarians can do the same.

Providing instant online access to more than 2,100 pet health handouts that cover a wide range of topics and species, all written and reviewed by animal health and communication experts, ClientEd has over 290 medication handouts (covering most commonly used medications) to help New York State veterinarians comply with consultation requirements as mandated by Buoy’s Law. As new medications come to market, new handouts are published to the library.

LifeLearn’s animal health experts use a variety of sources for their pet medication articles, including Saunders Handbook of Veterinary Drugs among others.

Unlike a lot of veterinary handouts that can cause confusion for pet owners with information that’s too long and technical, ClientEd articles are written in plain language, making them easily understood by pet owners. ClientEd also integrates easily with most practice management systems. So, you can access articles from your existing software and place them right into the hands of pet owners either pre- or post-appointment.

ClientEd doesn’t just help make medication consultation easier, it saves time too! Download our infographic to learn 10 ways ClientEd can help your practice comply with Buoy’s Law.